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Retail Shareholders Require Sustainability Reports

BY CSA STAFF

Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors, environmental groups and public-interest organizations that works with companies to address sustainability challenges, announced last month that it had filed a record 54 global-warming shareholder resolutions with dozens of U.S. companies, including several retail chains.

Retailers cited included The Kroger Co., Rite Aid, Lowe’s Cos. and Big Lots. The 54 resolutions, which seek greater disclosure from companies on their responses to climate change, including greenhouse-gas (GHG) reduction and renewable and energy-efficiency strategies, are nearly double the number filed just two years ago.

Specifically, Kroger was asked to develop a comprehensive policy for addressing climate change and reducing GHG emissions and to issue a report to its shareholders by Dec. 31. Rite Aid was asked to provide its shareholders with a report by Sept. 1 assessing how the company was addressing energy efficiencies.

Resolutions filed with Lowe’s and Big Lots were withdrawn after the retailers agreed to respond to the 2008 Carbon Disclosure Project survey, which indicated a commitment to disclose the steps they were taking to mitigate climate risk.

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STORE SPACES

What’s Jeff Bezos doing on top of a wind turbine?

BY Marianne Wilson

Amazon’s largest wind farm yet — Amazon Wind Farm Texas — is now up and running.

The new installation, which was officially christened by Jeff Bezos, who smashed a bottle of champagne on top on one of its massive turbines, will add more than 1,000,000 MWh of clean energy to the grid each year. It includes more than 100 turbines – each over 300 ft. tall with a rotor diameter more than twice the wingspan of a Boeing 787. Amazon Wind Farm Texas is built, owned, and operated by Lincoln Clean Energy (LCE), an I Squared Capital portfolio company and a leading developer of wind and solar projects across the U.S.

Amazon has launched 18 wind and solar projects across the U.S., with over 35 more to come. Together, these projects will generate enough clean energy to power over 330,000 homes annually.

“Investing in renewable energy is a win-win-win-win – it’s right for our customers, our communities, our business, and our planet,” said Kara Hurst, Amazon’s worldwide director of sustainability. “We now have 18 wind and solar projects across the U.S. with more than 35 projects to come. These are important steps toward reaching our long-term goal to power our global infrastructure using 100% renewable energy. We’d like to thank the leaders at LCE, the Scurry County community, and our partners across the country who are helping us continue to bring new renewable energy online.”

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OPERATIONS

Whole Foods Market replaces compromised POS systems following data breach

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon’s newest acquisition has taken steps to replace vulnerable checkout systems that cyber-thieves used to pilfer customer data.

Hackers gained unauthorized access to payment card information used at certain venues, such as tap rooms and full table-service restau-rants, located within some Whole Foods Markets stores. The incidents occurred between March 10 and Sept. 28. The company learned of the breach on Sept. 23, according to Whole Foods.

These venues use a different point-of-sale system than the company’s primary checkout systems, protecting them from the breach. Amazon.com systems are also not connected to the affected systems, so the online giant’s transactions were not affected.

Over the six month period, the incident impacted about 100 venues in 30 states, including California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Big cities including New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., were also targeted, according to 4-Traders.

Upon learning about the cyber-attack, Whole Foods conducted an in-vestigation with the help of a leading cyber security forensics firm and law enforcement. Efforts revealed that unauthorized software was present on the POS system at certain venues. The software copied payment card information, which may have included payment card account number, card expiration date, internal verification code, and cardholder names, according to the natural foods grocer.

Whole Foods Market has replaced the compromised POS sys-tems and stopped the unauthorized activity. The company also continues to work closely with the payment card companies, Whole Foods reported.

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